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5 quick No Man’s Sky Next tips

Get back on the Atlas Path faster

No Man’s Sky Next tips Hello Games via Polygon
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

With everything new that’s been added to No Man’s Sky in the last couple years — let alone everything added with Next — it’s an intimidating proposition to just climb back into your spaceship and take off. No Man’s Sky is almost, but not quite, a new game.

We talked a lot about what’s new and what has changed in our No Man’s Sky Next rebeginner’s guide, and here we’ll refine that into bite-sized pieces of advice.

Don’t force the game to play the way it used to

It helps to think of No Man’s Sky Next as a new game, and that means there are new rules. If you come into the update with the same goals and, frankly, baggage as you had a couple years ago, you’re going to end up both confused and frustrated. The game is sometimes a lot more complicated and complex now. Don’t just come to it like it’s an update. Give the game a fresh chance, and let it show you what it can be now.

Find new ships

A couple years ago, the best way to upgrade to a larger ship was to find a crashed one and fix it up. While you can still find ships this way — and they’re often very good ships — fixing them up has gotten a lot more intense. Not only are the various components broken, but many (most, in our experience) of the inventory slots are taken up with damaged parts. And you can’t use those slots until you complete some extensive and expensive repairs.

Instead, we’ve found that it’s a lot more productive to save up a lot of No Man’s Sky Next credits and buy a slightly better ship, then repeat as necessary. It means spending a lot of credits, but credits are easier to come by than thousands of units of chromatic metal, for example.

Missions, missions, and more missions

Making money in No Man’s Sky Next is — or, at least, feels — slower. The exotic items — things like albumen pearls — are still going to earn you a healthy profit, but we’ve found it a lot harder to earn ship-buying money in Next.

Instead of relying on trade or finding exotic goods, the best way to earn credits now is to take on Missions from the Missions Agents on Space Stations. You can see the rewards when you take on the missions, so you can pick and choose what’s going to earn you the most. (Even if you don’t get credits directly, you’ll often get very valuable trade goods as a reward.) And completing these missions often increases your standing with the local race and guilds, giving you even better missions to choose from.

A lot of the time (especially early) mission goals will overlap — you’ll find a mission to scan three minerals right along side a mission to scan four minerals. You can do them both at the same time, and that means you can earn as much as a couple hundred thousand credits with 15 minutes or so of work.

Buy your way out of problems with upgrade modules

Nanite Clusters and the Technology Merchants change the way you’ll approach upgrading your gear. Since you can earn hundreds of Nanite Clusters just from exploring planets and scanning everything you find, this makes upgrades a lot more accessible.

If you just purchase the best upgrade module you can afford instead of the blueprints, you don’t have to worry about collecting resources. This will let you install some powerful upgrades early, so you can focus on other things.

There’s a lot more to do and that’s both good and bad

There was a time when you had to make your own fun in No Man’s Sky. But that’s different now, especially with the Next update. The main storyline will move you along through mechanics, upgrades, and star systems pretty quickly.

But there’s also plenty of reason to stick around a system. You can take on missions for the locals to earn money and increase your reputation, you might find a planet full of valuable resources, or maybe you just found a really nice beachfront property where you want to build a base.

Navigating Next and having fun is about balancing these two things. You need to make progress into the galaxy to find new stars, planets, and resources, but there’s also value in knowing when to slow down to explore more fully and put down some roots.

The trick to knowing what to do next is noticing when you’re stagnating or frustrated. If you’re not finding anything new or exciting, move the main story along. Chances are good that you’ll end up somewhere new with some new opportunities (or at least new blueprints).

Any time you feel like exploring a bit, slow down and let the main storyline wait. No Man’s Sky still lets you make your own fun. It’s just not a requirement anymore. The game is there to help you enjoy it, rather than just allow you to.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.